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On the Gospel of John, Part 37: The True Vine and the Tree of Life

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On the Gospel of John, Part 37: The True Vine and the Tree of Life

In our last presentation of this commentary on John chapter 14 we discussed The Way as we saw in verse 6 of the chapter that Christ had declared that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. So we made the assertion that the way of Christ leads to the tree of life, which, to put it simply, is Christ Himself. Then, because He had also said in verse 15 of this chapter that “If ye love me, keep my commandments”, an admonition which He repeated several times throughout His discourse on this evening before He was crucified, we may discern that the keeping of the law represents the way to Him. As we also explained, this is the significance of the cherubs which, as it is described in Genesis chapter 3, were at first set to “keep the way of the tree of life”. So the cherubs had protected that path to Christ, as they were later seen aside the mercy seat which was atop the Ark of the Covenant wherein the tablets of the law were kept. That mercy seat represented the ultimate judgment seat of Christ, where Paul wrote in Romans chapter 14 “for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”

In Proverbs chapter 7 we read: “1 My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. 2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. 3 Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.” The wisdom of Solomon which was inspired by God, Christ Himself had followed on His Own earthly walk, as Paul of Tarsus had informed his readers in chapter 4 of his epistle to the Galatians that Yahshua Christ was born in accordance with the law, and He also kept the law, so that He could redeem those who were under the law. We know that He kept the law because in Hebrews chapter 4 Paul had informed his readers that Christ was without sin, where he wrote: “15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Again, Paul wrote likewise where he had spoken of God in reference to Christ, in 2 Corinthians chapter 5: “21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Therefore, as an example to men, Christ Himself had walked that same path which He also encourages men to follow. Yet Christ is also the path itself, or the Way, because He is One with the Father who had authored that same law. For that same reason, in the opening chapter of his gospel, John had called Him “the Word made flesh.”

On the Gospel of John, Part 36: The Way

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On the Gospel of John, Part 36: The Way

When Yahshua Christ chose His apostles from among the men who had first encountered Him at the start of His ministry, which is when He was baptized by John, they were simple and uneducated laborers, and for the most part, fishermen from the shores of Galilee. These men were not schooled in Scripture except for their attendance at the synagogues on the sabbath days, and the customary reading from the law of Moses which is referred to by James in Acts chapter 15. So far as in Acts chapter 4, at least some of the apostles were still considered unlearned, where we read “13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” Since the synagogues were the instruments of religious organization in Judaea, the teachings would have naturally been in accordance with the doctrines of the Pharisees and Sadducees, who dominated religious and political activity throughout Judaea.

But Christ did not occupy the course of His ministry schooling the apostles in the details of Scripture and giving them an education in letters. In fact, as we see in that verse from Acts chapter 4 which we have just cited, their testimony of Christ was even more valuable and made more of an impression because they were unschooled. These were simple men who witnessed profound events and gave plain and simple testimonies concerning the substance of those events. For that reason, the gospel accounts were written without craft or guile. As Paul later attested in his first epistle to the Thessalonians, “For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak”.

Rather than instructing the apostles in letters, they instead served Christ as companions, fellow-workers and then, most significantly, as witnesses, while He Himself was focused upon instructing His people in a better and more pure way to please their God, urging them to a sincere repentance in ways which were contrary to the elaborate doctrines and rituals of the Pharisees, whose spiritual authority He had challenged. This caused an ongoing confrontation with the officials in the temple, which He knew would ultimately lead to His execution – fulfilling the very purpose for which He came.

On the Gospel of John, Part 35: Empathy and Altruism

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On the Gospel of John, Part 35: Empathy and Altruism

In our last presentation from John chapter 13, which was Part 34 of our commentary on this gospel, we spoke of the intrinsic character which all people possess, even comparing it to the structure of a water molecule and the natural behavior of its basic components, the hydrogen and oxygen atoms which make its creation possible. In one place in that presentation I said “This may seem to be conjecture, but every man has an inherent nature, and often, contrary to that nature, every man is conditioned by society to behave in a certain manner. But eventually, when confronted with an appropriate situation, it is a man’s intrinsic character which will surface and take control of his actions and determine his fate.” There I went on to use Peter’s description of the fate of Lot as an example.

The children of God are called sheep for good reason, as they are generally docile and follow along with the flock wherever they are led. The proof of that statement is easily verified in the transformation of Western society over the past few decades. Until recently, sodomites and miscegenators were the outcasts of society, and in many places, laws had prohibited both acts. Now these sins are not only publicly acceptable, but they are even publicly applauded and those who commit them are admired rather than scorned. Thus we read in Jeremiah chapter 50: “6 My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.”

For that reason, at the day of their judgment their shepherds shall receive the greater punishment, as we read in Jeremiah chapter 25: “33 And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground. 34 Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock: for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel. 35 And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape. 36 A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and an howling of the principal of the flock, shall be heard: for the LORD hath spoiled their pasture. 37 And the peaceable habitations are cut down because of the fierce anger of the LORD.

Identifying the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

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Identifying the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

In Genesis chapter 2, there are two trees mentioned which Yahweh did not plant into the ground, but which were “in the midst” of the garden. These trees are actually distinguished from literal trees, where we read in verse 9: “And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” So we have all the other trees which had been purposely planted “into the ground”, but these two particular trees are merely present, and not planted in that same manner.

Perhaps the first clue to identifying these trees is found in Ezekiel chapter 31, where we see nations of men described as trees and the Word of Yahweh says “3 Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs. 4 The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers unto all the trees of the field. 5 Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth. 6 All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations. 7 Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters. 8 The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chestnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty.”

So races and nations of men are described as trees, and in this particular allegory, as trees of different sorts. However we must be cautious in the interpretation of this verse. It is not telling us that the Assyrians had existed in the time which Genesis chapter 2 describes, simply because it refers to the “garden of God”. Wesley Swift actually made that mistake. The Assyrians are the descendants of Asshur, who is first mentioned as a son of Shem in Genesis chapter 10. Rather, Ezekiel is describing the Adamic portion of the world in the time of the Assyrians, in his own time, as the “garden of God”. At the time in which Ezekiel was writing, the Assyrians had been the most powerful nation in that world, and therefore they are described as the greatest of the trees, while the other nations are lesser trees.

The Spurious Book of Jasher, with Sven Longshanks

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Sven Longshanks and William Finck discuss some of the historical errors and anachronisms which expose the so-called "Book of Jasher" as a fraud, along with some of its many conflicts with Scripture. Do not be deceived by another medieval Jewish ploy to distort the Scriptures.

The Franks, the Lombards and the country called Italy did not exist by those names in the time frame which Genesis chapter 10 describes.

The Romans did not hold the land of Edom subject 750 years before Rome existed.

The Punic Wars did not take place during the time of Moses.

The invasion of Britain did not occur during the time of Joshua.

Many attitudes expressed and circumstances described in the Book of Jasher are contrary to both history and to our received Scriptures, and cannot possibly be true.

The Book of Jasher reads like a Jewish super-hero cartoon, and should not be considered any differently.

On the Gospel of John, Part 34: Intrinsic Character

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On the Gospel of John, Part 34: Intrinsic Character

In our last presentation of this commentary on the gospel of John, Part 33, titled Light and Truth, we made the assertion that since Yahshua Christ was the Light come into the world, as He Himself had attested at John 12:46, then He must be that Light which was first described as having been created by Yahweh in Genesis chapter 1, verse 3. He is also recorded as having declared that “I am the light of the world” in John chapters 8 and 9. He is first-born of all Creation, He is the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”, and that first Light in Genesis is a type which represents what emanates from God as opposed to what lies in darkness, a type which forebode Yahshua Christ, the manifestation of God in the physical world.

I did something unusual this week. Before I started to write this presentation, I did a search on the Internet asking “What is the light of Genesis 1:3?” While I only checked the first few results, I was highly disappointed with the quality of three of the answers, even if I did not expect the same conclusion which I had made here. The top result was from a website called Quora.com, written by someone claiming to be a nineteen-year-old physics student. This came up first on the Google search results, which is probably as far as many people asking that question may go, so this is certainly not the way to do any serious research, but it is probably the way many people do what they think is research. He claimed that the light of that passage was all matter, and that in Genesis 1:4 God had created the rules that govern that matter. The first objection to his theory is this: Heaven, Earth and waters already existed, so matter existed before the declaration in Genesis 1:3 which said “Let there be light: and there was light.” So Genesis 1:2 immediately discredits this young man’s interpretation of Genesis 1:3.

This is exemplary of why nineteen-year-olds should not be answering theological questions, or maybe even questions about physics. In truth, the rules that govern matter are coded directly into the structures of matter itself. It is not an accident that two hydrogen atoms naturally combine with one oxygen atom to create a molecule of water. A third hydrogen atom can only join the combination if it has lost its electron, thereby having a positive charge, and if it combines with the other three atoms it creates a hydronium ion, which is acidic. Otherwise it cannot combine at all, and water remains water. This is the intrinsic character of these basic elements of creation, so the rules of matter were not created separately from the matter itself. Every element had its rules of behavior already built into its nature as it was created.

On the Gospel of John, Part 33: Light and Truth

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On the Gospel of John, Part 33: Light and Truth

In our last presentation from chapter 12 of the Gospel of John, we made the assertion that Self-sacrifice is the Ideal Sacrifice. Speaking of the sin which is made manifest by the Law, Paul had informed his readers in chapter 5 of his first epistle to the Corinthians to “7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us”, and then in chapter 10 of his epistle to the Hebrews Paul had written “11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” So there is no other sacrifice that Christians can make except where Christ Himself had admonished, as it is recorded in three gospels, that “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Therefore self-sacrifice is not only the ideal sacrifice, but it is the only sacrifice which is expected of Christians, and everything else, the rituals and the sacraments and the pretensions of piety, is superfluous and vain.

This is also evident where, the second time that this same admonition is recorded in the Gospel of Mark, in chapter 10, we see an exchange between Christ and a wealthy young man, which occurred after Christ, being in Judaea, had once again been challenged by the Pharisees, and then we read: “17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. 22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. 23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

What is a Church? with Dr. Michael Hill

 

What is a “church”?

If you are a nationalist, what should you think about “church”? If you recognize that the world is corrupt, and all of the Christian churches of any denomination are guilty of magnifying, perpetuating, or enabling the corruption, how could you take part in any such church? As either a Christian or a nationalist, how could you contribute to the corruption? If you attend these churches, how could you not be guilty of the sins which they have come to accept?

The Roman Catholic Church might take a public stance against Sodomy, but for centuries it has turned a blind eye to the Sodomy and pedophilia which have been practiced by its own priests. The Orthodox Church is not free of this dilemma, as its priests have also frequently been caught in the same behavior, not only in America but in Europe and elsewhere. The Protestant churches all have these same problems and perhaps to a greater degree. There are records of cases which can be found on the Internet, many sourced from the church organizations themselves, showing that the corruption of Sodomy, pedophilia, adultery and other types of sexual transgression is just as prevalent in these churches as it is in the secular world. For example, churches belonging to the Southern Baptist Convention have suffered 700 documented cases of child sexual abuse in 20 years, as reported this past February by the Houston Chronicle.

Those who commit or who overlook such sins cannot possibly continue to stand against sin. According to the words of Paul of Tarsus in Romans chapter 1, those who accept such sinners are just as guilty of the sins committed by the sinners as the sinners themselves, and he was speaking specifically in reference to Sodomy. While in 2012 the Southern Baptist Convention took a firm stance against Sodomy, it nevertheless resolved to take a “stand against any form of gay-bashing, whether disrespectful attitudes, hateful rhetoric, or hate-incited actions toward persons who engage in acts of homosexuality”, a vague position which could be construed as discouraging, or even condemning any admonishment of Sodomites. Then, by 2014 the Convention was officially neglecting to condemn “gay-tolerant” churches, even church pastors who had begun to proclaim that Sodomy is not a sin, when it certainly is.

On the Gospel of John, Part 32: Self-sacrifice is the Ideal Sacrifice

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On the Gospel of John, Part 32: Self-sacrifice is the Ideal Sacrifice

I had chosen to display a portrayal of the sacrifice of Isaac by the 16th century Italian painter Domenichino for this program, because Abraham’s sacrifice was the ultimate sacrifice, as he was willing to give up everything which he had been promised in order to please his God, but he was promised nothing additional in return. His sacrifice was entirely selfless. In an ideal society, that is the sort of sacrifice which all White Christians should be willing to make for one another. If we chose to do so now, perhaps that ideal society which we could call the Kingdom of Heaven would begin to develop before their very eyes.

In our commentary on the first part of John chapter 12, titled Raising Cain, I had made an analogy of the fact that by raising Lazarus, Yahshua Christ had finally brought the wrath of His enemies to the point where they were compelled to act against Him. As He himself had explained in John chapter 8 and elsewhere, His enemies being the children of the devil, by raising Lazarus He had certainly also raised Cain.

Now, as we also explained in that presentation, we are at the point where it is four days before the Passover upon which He was to be executed, which is when He made His triumphal march into Jerusalem, as John had described in verses 12 through 15. Then in verses 17 and 18, John explained that the reason why the crowd had met Christ at the gates of the city and declared for Him to be king, glorifying God, was because they knew that He had raised Lazarus from the dead. So by doing that, His enemies were able to lay a capital charge against Him before the Roman authorities, and the event had sealed His fate, which his something that He Himself had foreseen. So in verse 19 we read where John described the envy and anxiety of the Pharisees and he wrote: “19 Therefore the Pharisees said to themselves: ‘You see that you are not of any help? Behold, Society goes off after Him!’” By this John explains the reason why they sought to kill Him, because they were envious and because by His wonderful deeds their own pretense of authority over the people was threatened, so they were anxious to be rid of Him. They had no care for truth nor for the people themselves, but only for their own pretense of authority which provided for them a comfortable station in life.

Spiritual Sperm?

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Spiritual Sperm?

Here I am going to present and comment on a paper which was first published by Clifton Emahiser in September, 2006.

In my opinion, one important aspect of our New Testament commentaries here at Christogenea is a constant endeavor to illustrate the differences of Biblical Christianity, as it is evident in both the writings of the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament apostles, with the interpretations of Scripture which were accepted and institutionalized after Christianity had emerged from persecution in the 4th century, as a Roman-government approved Church began to take form. To a great degree, these interpretations are still found throughout the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox as well as all of the Protestant churches.

While I am only offering a hypothesis, it is very likely that these differences resulted because Christianity was persecuted by Jews for several centuries, and by the Romans often at the instigation of the Jews, at the same time that it was being infiltrated by Judaizers, which is evident throughout the New Testament epistles and Acts of the Apostles. During this period of persecution, the Judaizers sought to corrupt Christianity, and as Judaic thought gained more and more traction on a persecuted Christianity, there is an evident transition which occurred within the first century of the dissemination of the gospel. The spread of the gospel began as a message to the scattered twelve tribes of Israel and ended by adopting what we may call replacement theology, which is the misguided concept that somehow mere “gentiles”, people of other races and nations, had replaced the actual children of Israel as the object of the promises of God. This happened during a murky period of Christian history from about 100 AD up to the time of Justin Martyr, a period about which little is known. But the apostles, as well as the prophets, had taught that the twelve tribes of Israel which were scattered abroad, and had already become many nations, were being called to Christ. But the Judaic form of Christianity which took root in Palestine and in Alexandria and which ultimately became dominant had taught that anyone who was baptized and believed in Jesus somehow became one of the children of a “new” Israel, which was the ecclesia, and later, the Church.

This situation greatly benefited the Jews, who were then able to claim a special privilege of being the “chosen race”, pretending children of Israel while denying Christ. At the same time, the Christians who had actually descended from the “twelve tribes scattered abroad” and who were the original objects of apostolic evangelizing were ultimately reduced to perceiving themselves as second-class citizens within their own Faith. Ever since the second century, the Jews have been able to position themselves into being perceived as a special class even though they continued to deny Christ, and in spite of the fact that they are not even true Israelites, but rather, they are Edomite bastards. Jewry has always been a criminal enterprise, and thus it was able to continue to this very day.

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